Of the other guazábara or skirmish the Spaniards had with the Indians of the island of Boriquen or San Juan.
Translated by Mehr Nasir-Moin ’21
After the battle I described in the preceding chapter ended, most of the Indians on the island of Boriquen gathered; and as it became known to Governor Juan Ponce, there were tidings that in the province of Yagueca a council of the enemies of the Christians had formed, greatly determined to kill all the Christians or to die in the attempt, as they were few and the Indians now knew that they were mortal, like them. And with great speed the governor gathered his captains and a little more than 80 men, and went in search of the Indians, who amounted to more than eleven thousand men; and when they came into view of each other near sundown the Christians set their camp after some light skirmishes; and as the Indians saw the Spaniards’ eager spirit and will to fight, and that they had come in pursuit of them, they attempted to quickly drive them back or defeat them. The Christians, however, fighting and resisting, established their camp very near that of the enemy in open challenge, and some small groups of Indians would come out to incite them into battle; but the Christians remained composed and in great accord and alertness by their banners, and some of our young men would go forth to toss a spear or shoot their crossbow before returning to their battalion. And then both sides bided their time, waiting for the opposite side to initiate the battle: and both waiting upon one another, it followed that a gunman shot down an Indian whom they believed must have been a man of great rank because after that the Indians lost the spirit they had demonstrated until that moment and pulled back their army to where the shotgun could not reach them. And as the night that followed was very dark, the governor retreated, and left with all of his people, albeit against the will and opinion of some, because it looked like they were leaving the battle out of fear; but ultimately he thought that it was tempting God to fight against such a multitude and putting the few they were through such a great risk, and that in waging war, they would fare better by not going all out in a single day: for which he was regarded as a prudent captain, as confirmed by the effect and events that followed.